Being charged with assault in Maryland can be overwhelming, and the legal process complicated. If you or a loved one are facing assault charges, it is critical that you work with an experienced Frederick assault lawyer who can put forth a passionate defense on your behalf. A skilled defense attorney can help you build your case and fully understand your charges. En Español.
Types of Assault
Assault is typically defined as an illegal contact with another person, though in certain cases, the actual touching need not have occurred – only the imminent fear that the contact was about to take place is required to establish an assault case.
Assault is sometimes confused with battery, which is the illegal and unwanted touch or contact itself, which is why working with a knowledgeable Frederick assault lawyer who understands these nuances is important.
First-degree assault under Maryland law is the most serious form of assault. This type of assault can cause death or serious bodily injury – defined as an injury that could result in death, disfigurement, or significant disability. So-called assault with a deadly weapon – sometimes called aggravated assault – is generally considered to fall under the umbrella of first-degree assault in Maryland, since the weapon is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.
An assault weapon need not necessarily be a traditional weapon, like a firearm or knife. Anything that is used as a weapon and has the capability of causing serious injury or death can be considered an assault weapon – such as golf clubs, baseball bats, or even cars. First-degree assault in Maryland is a felony offense punishable by up to 25 years in prison. A Frederick assault lawyer can mitigate potential penalties that an individual might face.
Second-degree assault in Maryland occurs when a person is physically injured, even if not severely so. While the penalties are less harsh than for first-degree assault, second-degree assault is still considered a very serious crime. Extremely minor physical injuries do not typically play into the decision to charge someone with second-degree assault.
In Maryland, second-degree assault is a misdemeanor offense carrying a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and as much as $5,000 in fines.
Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer
Certain types of assaults are classified depending upon who the accuser was and whether they held any special or protected status, such as a peace officer or law enforcement officer.
Assault on a law enforcement officer is considered a felony, even if the assault only rose the severity of being a second-degree assault, rather than a first-degree assault.
Assaulting a police officer or other law enforcement official is punishable by up to ten years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
Building an Assault Defense
There are a few valid defenses to the charge of assault in Maryland, so anyone accused of assault will need the assistance of a skilled Frederick assault attorney who can evaluate whether any of the available defenses to the assault charges could apply.
Possible defenses to assault in Maryland include self-defense, a lack of intent to cause harmful contact, that the alleged victim consented to the contact, a lack of evidence in the case, or that the contact did not actually take place.
Consulting a Frederick Assault Attorney
No matter what type of assault charge you or your loved one are facing, you will need an experienced Frederick assault lawyer who can look into the details surrounding the incident and determine the best strategy for your defense. Your attorney may also be able to seek reduced charges and penalties for you by arranging a plea bargain.